Was the U.S.-Led Invasion of Iraq Worth It?

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He said the initial decision to invade made by President George W. Bush was a mistake. "I certainly don't think the invasion has paid the dividends. I mean we'll see, maybe Iraq will be a shining star of democracy in the Middle East. ... I just don't see it happening."

I asked whether his perspective was a little more nuanced.

"I don't think my perspective was much different at the time that we met but when you're in the fight, that's not the time to sit there and have this kind of conversation," Browning said.

Iraqis Overcoming Struggles Daily

Mortada appeared in an ABC News story in 2005. At the age of 12, he was working in a mechanic's shop.

"I left school," he said, "so I can help my family survive."

Four years later, when I found him, he was still working, and not attending school.

"I am the breadwinner for my family. If I go to school, I cannot feed them. It's very difficult," he said.

Mortada said that he got angry and sad about his situation but that he thanked God for giving him patience to overcome his struggles.

He said the ousting of Saddam was good, though.

Perhaps the most moving reconnection involved the Hussein family that ABC News interviewed in 2008. A U.S. airstrike had destroyed their Baghdad house, killing a 2-year-old boy, Ali.

Ali's mother said at the time that the family had wanted to move but that could not afford it.

"I begged my husband to leave the house when the fighting began, but he said if we die, we will die together," she said.

A viewer bought the Husseins a new house, which they proudly showed off during my visit. They also introduced me to their new son, who looks astonishingly like Ali.

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